Keeping you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic

Last updated: 27/07/2021

At Nightingale Hospital, our primary aim is to ensure that our patients and staff remain safe, healthy and protected. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge health and safety challenges for us all. Nightingale Hospital has implemented many robust measures in response to these challenges. The main measures you need to be aware of are listed below.

Visiting hospital inpatients

In an attempt to safeguard the health and wellbeing of inpatients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Nightingale, like many other hospitals, suspended inpatient visiting.

On 19th July 2021, the UK government announced the lifting of many COVID-19 restrictions in the community. As a hospital, it is paramount that we continue to protect all patients in our care. For this reason, we need to remain vigilant against COVID-19, in an effort to protect all patients and staff from infection.

As such, a decision has been made to continue with the suspension of inpatient visiting.

We must stress that this decision follows careful consideration of the latest COVID infection data and the associated risks of COVID transmission within the hospital. We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in the UK and will look to reintroduce visiting at the hospital when it is appropriate to do so.

In the interim, we continue to encourage patients to meet visitors outdoors wherever possible; as fresh air and adequate space between individuals will help reduce the risk of transmission.

Outpatients

Virtual consultations and therapy sessions

Attending the hospital for an outpatient consultation with a psychiatrist, therapy or a Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) or esketamine treatment session

You will receive a health screening email in advance of your appointment. You are required to wear a mask or face covering when arriving at the hospital. In addition, you will be temperature screened upon arrival.

During face-to-face appointments, your consultant psychiatrist or therapist may wear a face mask or face visor. A mutual decision will be made as to whether you should wear a mask during your consultation.

We have over 30 hand sanitiser dispensers placed on walls throughout the hospital, including at all of our reception points. We encourage you to use these at all times.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) at Nightingale Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic

The rTMS treatment room is kept scrupulously clean, at all times. The rTMS practitioner will be dressed in full PPE (personal protective equipment) throughout treatment. This includes wearing a gown, mask, a clear face visor and gloves.

The practitioner will wear a brand new gown and gloves for each session. Between each patient, all surfaces, the treatment chair, and all equipment are thoroughly cleaned.

The entire room is also sprayed with disinfectant, between each appointment.

When patients enter the rTMS room, they will be asked to wash their hands thoroughly with hospital-grade disinfectant soap.

All patients will be provided with a new disposable face mask, which they will be required to wear throughout the treatment session.

Nightingale Hospital has installed over 30 hand-sanitiser stations around the hospital. Patients are asked to sanitise their hands when they enter and leave the hospital.

Inpatients

COVID-19 screening for inpatients

Prior to admission, you will need to complete a health declaration questionnaire. You will have to confirm you have been symptom-free of COVID-19 for a minimum of seven days prior to your admission date. Upon admission, you will be tested for COVID-19. You must self-isolate until the test result is returned. This can take up to 48 hours. The hospital has a COVID-19 isolation ward for patients who display symptoms or who test positive for the virus. This isolation ward is a protective measure and has not been used for many months.

Regular rapid lateral flow testing for all inpatients

All inpatients will be tested twice per week for COVID-19, using rapid lateral flow testing kits. Rapid lateral flow tests give a result in 30 minutes using a self-swab device.
You will need to self-swab under staff supervision.

Additional testing for all patients will take place in the following circumstances:
– If you take overnight leave, you will be automatically tested upon return to the hospital, regardless of when you were last tested.
– If you become symptomatic or have suspected or confirmed exposure to a COVID-19 positive person.

Group therapy programmes

A large part of your therapy programme will be face-to-face, with COVID-19 safety guidelines being followed at all times. Some group therapy sessions will be delivered remotely via Zoom to continue to maintain social distancing. You will be able to join these groups from the comfort of your bedroom. If you do not have an electronic device, the hospital can provide one for you for the duration of your stay

Enhanced hygiene measures

Throughout the entire hospital, enhanced hygiene and infection control measures have been introduced. Our housekeeping team maintains the highest level of infection control and sanitation throughout the entire hospital.  All outpatient consulting rooms are sanitised between appointments. A strict cleaning rota is in place to ensure that all wards and communal areas are rigorously cleaned.

Facilities

Dining: The hospital restaurant is open to inpatients for breakfast, lunch and dinner and an extensive menu including hot dishes, fresh salads and side options is still available. For hygiene reasons, the self-serve option has been removed. A member of the catering team will serve all items of your choice.
Gymnasium: A frequent cleaning schedule is in place.

Ongoing monitoring of the evolving situation

This is a dynamic situation, therefore we will continue to monitor government advice daily and respond accordingly. We would like to assure you that we are following the best practices in order to keep our patients and staff healthy and protected.